Damas ditches print ads for TV

Jewellery giant Damas will shift the majority of its multi-million dollar advertising budget into television as part of “complete change of strategy”, Campaign can reveal.

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By  Richard Abbott Published  December 18, 2005

Jewellery giant Damas will shift the majority of its multi-million dollar advertising budget into television as part of “complete change of strategy”, Campaign can reveal. The company has signed up Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram to spearhead a major new promotional push, which is due to break in January and is designed to target Arab youths. Damas has 250 outlets across the Middle East, of which 133 are in the UAE. It has traditionally spent its ad money on print and outdoor but Samit Bhatta, general manager of sales and marketing, said 2006 would see a change in direction. “We are going very heavily into television, which we have never done before,” he said. The advertising and marketing budget for the jewellery chain will also rocket by between 20% and 30% from its current level of US$10 million a year. Under the new strategy, Damas will channel 60% of its ad spend into TV. Bhatta said: “We want to impact on the youth living across the region. They are not just in one country. Because we are now everywhere, TV is the medium. Our category is so personal so you have to tell the story in an audio-visual medium.” He also expressed frustration about the lack of verifiable information about the distribution of newspapers and magazines. The US$4.5 million Nancy Ajram campaign — a joint venture with the World Gold Council — follows extensive research by Damas that showed the brand was not appealing to young people. It will break across pan-Arab TV on 5 January. Ajram, who also represents Coca-Cola in the region, has been signed up as a youth ambassador for two years and will be the face of Damas’ gold jewellery collections, especially designed for the younger generation. Damas is also launching a new ‘Farfasha’ gold collection as part of the campaign, and Romance, a collection focused on lovers.

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